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150421SNPmanifesto

Isn’t the similarity between the SNP manifesto and Labour’s astonishing?

Shall we count some similarities? Yes, let’s.

Both parties want to scrap the bedroom tax and zero-hours contracts, reverse the privatisation of the NHS, increase NHS spending and integrate health and social care.

They both support a 50p top tax rate, the mansion tax, the bankers’ bonus tax,  abolishing non-dom status and ending the married couple’s tax allowance.

They would both increase the minimum wage to more than £8 (although Labour would promote the higher Living Wage as well), and both want benefits to rise in line with inflation.

Both parties would cut tuition fees across the UK and increase free childcare (to 25 hours per week (Labour) or 30 hours (SNP)).

Both would set a target for house-building, although Labour’s – at 200,000 – is twice as high as that of the SNP.

Both would oppose any moves to take the UK out of the European Union, and both support the current level of overseas aid spending.

Both Labour and the SNP would abolish the House of Lords.

And both would implement the Smith Commission’s proposals in full, along with further powers for Scotland (differing on the details – Labour would not wish to grant full fiscal autonomy due to fears of a £7.6 billion ‘black hole’).

With so many similarities, it seems strange that Nicola Sturgeon has claimed an alliance with the SNP is necessary to “pull Labour leftwards”.

Isn’t it more likely that she is hoping to claim success in this regard, during a future alliance, despite having done nothing to achieve it?

All she’d have to do is wait for Labour to put through the relevant legislation, after all.

But what seems most strange, considering the overwhelming similarity with Labour, is the similarly-overwhelming negative campaign against Labour, on the grounds that Labour is too right-wing! There’s simply no justification for it – other than a hunger for power. This leads to another question:

If the SNP wants a louder voice in the whole of the UK, and wants to “lock the Tories out of government”, then why hasn’t the SNP told the electorate not to vote Tory?

Nicola Sturgeon is perfectly happy to tell Scottish voters not to vote Labour. About the Tories? Not a word. Perhaps she thinks they’re not a threat but there were nearly half a million Conservative voters north of the border in 2010 and with Labour and the SNP at each other’s throats, the right-wingers have freedom to campaign without hindrance.

To the best of this writer’s knowledge, Nicola Sturgeon has never said: “Don’t vote Tory.”

The motive seems obvious: She needs a large Parliamentary Conservative Party, with many seats in England and Wales, blocking Labour from its majority – she she can blackmail Ed Miliband into a deal with the SNP. Considering the similarity between their manifestos, an alliance of any kind between Labour and the SNP isn’t really necessary anyway, so this can only be about one thing:

Power.

Ms Sturgeon is desperate for the SNP to gain the balance of power in Westminster, so she can blackmail Labour into providing what she wants.

And what does a nationalist political party always want?

Mark these words.

If the SNP has its way, we’ll be looking at the break-up of the UK again very soon. It’s the only way her actions make any sense.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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